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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Feral Kitten Help

I'm in a frustrating situation. A woman at work said she would give a home to one of the feral kittens who live around my place of work, so I trapped one for her, and then she changed her mind. He's currently hiding in my spare room and I'm not sure what to do with him yet because I can't have another cat. Here's what I'm struggling with:

The kitten is terrified, if I keep him or hope to find him a home it will take a lot of time and patience to attempt to tame him and I live with roommates who are already grumpy about him being in the room for a couple of days. I could probably do it, but they wouldn't be happy. I'm wondering if it's worth it and,

I'm wondering if I shouldn't just let him return to his outdoor home, he had a sibling.

Thoughts anyone? They'd be appreciated.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 02:01 PM
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Re: Feral Kitten Help

You're a kind person to take care of this needy kitten.
Since it sounds like you're not in a situation where you would be able to tame this kitten yourself, I would suggest finding a rescue in your area that works with feral cats. If the kitten is a suitable candidate for taming, they may be able to do it, otherwise they may be able to alter & vaccinate the cat and find a good outdoor home for her.
We have a rescue in this area that works specifically with ferals. The ones that they are able to tame go into foster homes until they can be adopted, and the ones that don't tame are vetted, altered & then adopted out to outdoor rural homes (such as farms) that can provide the cat with shelter, food & vet care when needed.

I wouldn't suggest releasing back where you caught him. Unless there's someone caring for these feral cats, chances are he won't make it, and if he does, life certainly will be tough.
If you can't find a rescue that will take him, maybe look into low-cost spay/neuter options, get him altered (lord knows we certainly don't need him reproducing, resulting in more homeless cats running around) and then find someone with a rural home that will provide shelter & care for him. Or you could post an ad on a site like craigslist and see if there's someone out there who would be willing to take her and tame her (make sure you screen people before you just give her to someone though).

Good luck! please keep us posted.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 06:35 PM
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Re: Feral Kitten Help

What a shame your roommates feel as they do. It is so much easier to tame a feral kitten than a feral cat. I hope you can find a rescue in your area. Thank you for caring.


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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-09-2009, 08:23 PM
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Re: Feral Kitten Help

How old is the kitten? Depending on the age of the kitten would be an idicator of how easy or hard it would be to socialize him.

The biggest chance for success whether you place him in a barn program or try to socialize him is to work with a rescue that does Trap/Neuter/Return. Basically the people who work with ferals would be a great resource for you in tips or even a specific colony or barn he could be released to after being s/n & shots. There are certain steps you take to help him survive if going back out. Do know 50 % of feral cats relocated do not survive.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:16 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Feral Kitten Help

Thank you to everyone for the replies. Unfortunately, there is no rescue in my area that deals with ferals. The way they deal with them in my city is euthanasia.

I've decided to keep the kitten in a spare room. My roommate softened up a bit. It's been 48 hours and it's been a little rough. I tried to handle the kitten once and it was terrified and scratched me. I don't know what to expect during this process. The kitten is around 3 months old. I have a few questions:

It hasn't used the litterbox. I cleaned the carpet and put the box above the spot, and placed some of Kitten's solid waste in the box. Will it learn?

Is it likely that it will calm down and become tame after awhile? When should I see a change?

I've looked up lots of things about taming feral kittens online, but I've never experienced it for myself. I do know a woman who said she'd take it as a barn cat, but I'd like it to calm down a little first before attempting to trap it and move it again. Will a cat even enter a trap a second time? I just need lots of guidance right now, as if that weren't obvious. Any thoughts at all would be welcome right now. Thank you. Oh, and also...I've been using Nature's Miracle for cats to clean the carpet...as well as a steam cleaner at home. I'd also like any suggestions on that topic as well. Ha!
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 04:28 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Feral Kitten Help


It's not for certain I'll let the woman have it as a barn cat, It's just as likely it will find a home as an indoor cat, if it ever becomes tame enough. Tonight I feel discouraged that it ever will be : (
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 01-11-2009, 08:40 PM
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Re: Feral Kitten Help

Ive had ferals use the litter box so dont know why this one isnt. I would go out and buy Kitten Attract litter. It done wonders for us. Its been my experience this kitten is right at the cut off point ~12 weeks~it could go either way as far as how hard it could be to socialize it. If the cat is has a strong feral leanings you may have a challenge ahead of you. This will take alot of time and patience.

If your going to let the woman take this as a barn cat be doublely sure she is willing to feed and water it and have a safe warm house for it in the barn. This kitten cant survive on mice and insects. Plus it doesnt have a mother to teach it to mouse.

Tell the woman you are having it spayed/neuter and shots which is an investment on your part so you are only considering barns which where they will be fed. She must be willing to keep this cat a minimum of 3 weeks in a large kennel or tackroom for it to understand and get familar that this is its home or it will disappear and all was for naught.

When you need to get it in a carrier it probably will have to be fed in the carrier and shut the door on it or catch it with a towel and gloves.

Here is a great shelter for a feral cat. You might print it out and make it for your kitten~ so whether he stays or goes to a barn then hed be familar with this shelter ~ if he has to start out in in a tack room. http://www.pacthumanesociety.org/core/WinterShelter.htm
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